Can a Wife Open Accounts in a Husband's Name Without His Signature?

A wife can't open a bank account for a husband without his permission.
A wife can't open a bank account for a husband without his permission. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

There are certain cases where you may need to open an account in your spouse's name. Your spouse may be deployed in the military, he may travel for his work or you may handle the banking for your household. In these cases, you need to know what you're permitted to do on his behalf and how to go about opening a bank account for your spouse.


If you walk into the bank and attempt to open an account, the bank will require identification and a signature. As a spouse, you're not permitted to sign your husband's signature. The only way you may open an account in your husband's name is if you're authorized to do so under a power of attorney.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants you the right to conduct financial and other business on behalf of another person. If you have power of attorney, and the power of attorney specifies that you're authorized to open a bank account for your husband, you can open a bank account for your spouse with relative ease. You're still required to show identification and the power of attorney form.

Joint Accounts

A joint account is an account that both you and your spouse share. To open a joint bank account in both your name and your spouse's name, you need the same identification, information and signature you need to open an individual account in your spouse's name. You need this information for both you and your spouse.

Opening an Account Online

Banks often offer the option to open a checking or savings account online. According to Bank of America, to apply for an account online, you need your Social Security number, current home address, email address, account or debit card number to make an initial deposit and the co-applicant's personal information, if applicable. Once the bank approves your application, you receive an email with followup instructions. You also have to send in a signature form. You can't apply for an account online on your spouse's behalf. However, if your spouse is available to sign the signature forms, the online application is an alternative for those looking to open a joint account but who don't have the time to go to the bank.

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